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Bringing some light into the darkened world of the visually impaired

Every Thursday evening a group of volunteers meet at a dedicated recording studio at the Village Institute in Radlett.

However, two of that group will have already been at work in preparation. One will have been visiting the websites of the Borehamwood Times and its sister newspaper, the Watford Observer, to download news items from that week’s posting, the News Editor. The other will have been collecting magazine type articles, the Magazine Editor.

In the group there will always be a technical person who will be the controller for that week’s recording.

Each recording has about 30 minutes of news content and about 30 minutes of magazine articles which are read by four readers.

Later the team will be joined by the Copier, who with the Controller, will make multiple copies of the master recording.

Presently the weekly recordings are transferred onto USB memory sticks or Flash Drives, such as many people use to store data from their computers. The individual recordings are put into padded yellow envelopes to be sent out to the listeners via the Royal Mail.

The envelopes each have a slot into which is fitted a double sided label that has the address of a listener on one side and the return address of the Talking Newspaper on the other.

There is an agreement with the Royal Mail that allows the envelopes to be posted to the listeners free of charge and there is no charge for a listener to send the envelope, plus the memory stick, back to the Talking Newspaper.

Every listener is supplied free of charge with a playback box.

Normally a listener should find that the weekly recording reaches them on Saturday morning.

One of our listeners says “I look forward to finding the yellow envelope containing my memory stick on the door mat on a Saturday morning; I thoroughly enjoy hearing the news that I can no longer read from the local newspapers. I get a special kick out of listening to the magazine articles, some of which are so amusing that I can hear the readers having a chuckle. I am grateful to the volunteers who keep me in touch with the world by producing the weekly recordings.”

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